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The Student Success Commons at York County Community College: MAT 126: Trigonometry

Algebra Basics

Trigonometry Resource Links

Trigonometry Calculators

Sin/Cos = Tan

Greek Letters

Letter Name  Uppercase Character Lowercase Character
Alpha Α α
Beta Β β
Gamma Γ γ
Delta Δ δ
Epsilon Ε ε
Zeta Ζ ζ
Eta Η η
Theta Θ θ
Iota Ι ι
Kappa Κ κ
Lambda Λ λ
Mu Μ μ
Nu Ν ν
Xi Ξ ξ
Omicron Ο ο
Pi Π π
Rho Ρ ρ
Sigma Σ σ
Tau Τ τ
Upsilon Υ Υ
Phi Φ φ
Chi Χ χ
Psi Ψ ψ
Omega Ω ω


How to Pronounce Greek Letters (American English) For Science and Mathematics:

Note: Though different than the above video, in your class you're more likely to hear mu is pronounced like "mew", nu is pronounced like "new" and upsilon is usually pronounced "oop·suh·laan".

You won't need to memorize or use all Greek letters in your trigonometry class. Some of the most common ones are α (alpha), β (beta), γ (gamma), θ (theta)—these are usually used to represent angles—π (pi), and ω (omega).

Trigonometry Summary

Radians, Degrees, Minutes, Seconds

There are various ways to measure angles:

  • Degrees: there are 360° in a circle
  • Radians: there are 2π radians in a circle
  • Minutes (also called "a minute of arc", arcminute (arcmin), arc minute, or minute arc): Denoted by the symbol  and equal to 1/60 of one degree. There are 21,600 minutes in a circle
  • Seconds (also called "a second of arc, arcsecond (arcsec), or arc second): Denoted by the symbol and equal to is 1/60 of an arcminute or 1/3600 of a degree. There are 1,296,000 seconds in a circle

Note: the minutes and seconds used in trigonometry do not refer to measures of time, they refer to angle measurements.

Click image to enlarge

Unit Circle

(Click to enlarge)

Did you know you don't have to memorize the entire unit circle? Watch this video for a quick trick and some other great information.

Image courtesy of CueMath




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